Comic Stewart Lee is usually associated with the more esoteric end of the comedy spectrum, yet he recently revealed that classic comedy duo The Krankies were an unlikely early inspiration for his laser-guided flights of comic fancy. 

“Richard Herring bought me their album The Krankies Go to Hollywood for my 19th birthday” says Stewart, who returns to curate a second series of Comedy Central’s stand-up showcase The Alternative Comedy Experience from Tuesday, July 15.

“He also bought me a bootleg album by Television, who I have seen and who have since reformed. I’ve yet to see The Krankies – though they’re probably due the same critical reappraisal.” 

The first episode features an appearance from Lee’s wife Bridget Christie, who also featured in series one and won last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show. So is there any chance of Stewart and Bridget becoming England’s answer to the Krankies’ husband-and-wife double act?

“We have considered it, and we’re waiting as long as possible before doing it,” says Lee. “We had a terrible honeymoon in the Shetlands in December 2005. We thought it would be like the west coast of Ireland – sitting in cosy pubs listening to fiddle players. In fact there were only four hours of daylight, and the pubs were these brightly lit rooms with Formica tables where people drank cans of Special Brew and scowled at you.

“We’ve got some hilarious photos and we thought, when we’re both really old, we could team up to tell the story of the honeymoon from different perspectives, dressed in the clothes we got married in.”